Keeping in Touch Over the Holidays

Seven in Ten Globally Have Used Mobile Devices to Text Greetings to Far-Away Loved Ones (73%) or to Take Photos at Gatherings (65%); Four in Ten (42%) Used Online Video to Communicate with Loved Ones

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Global — Seven in ten of those in 24 countries report they have ever ‘used a mobile device to send a text greeting on a holiday or other special occasion because they were far away’ (73%) or ‘used a mobile device (mobile phone or tablet) to take photos of gatherings’ (65%) for communication with loved ones, such as family or friends. Another four in ten (42%) have used an online video chat platform (such as Skype or Facetime).

The findings reflect a new poll of 18,083 online respondents conducted as Ipsos’ Holiday Poll about technology and innovation. The results are being released as part of a free webinar on Monday, January 6, 2014 at 1:30pm EST. Registration is available at the following link:

The results are being co-released with Ipsos OTX – the global innovation center for Ipsos, the world’s third largest market and opinion research firm.

Demographic Picture

Demographically speaking, women are more likely than men to have texted far-away loved ones (76% vs. 70%, respectively) and to have used a mobile device to take photos at gatherings (67% vs. 63%). Young respondents are more likely than their older counterparts to have used their phones to take photos at gatherings (under 35: 68%, aged 35-49: 64%, aged 50-64: 60%) and to use online video chat (under 35: 46%, aged 35-49: 39%, aged 50-64: 40%). Age does not make a meaningful difference in terms of who is most likely to text loved ones who are far away on special occasions or holidays: under 35: 72%, aged 35-49: 74%, aged 50-64: 72%.

Those who have high household income levels (77%) are more likely than those with middle (73%) or low (68%) income to say they have texted loved ones far away on a holiday or special occasion. The same is true for proportions of those who have used a mobile device to take photos at a gathering (high: 72%, medium: 66%, low: 59%) and to use online video chat (high: 50%, medium: 41%, low: 37%). Similarly, those with a high level of education are most likely to text loved ones on holidays (high: 76%, medium: 73%, low: 70%), to use their phone to take pictures at gatherings (high: 69%, medium: 65%, low: 62%) and to use video chat (high: 48%, medium: 43%, low: 37%).

Regional Differences

Texting far-away loved ones appears to be a global norm as a majority of respondents in each country say they have ever done this in order to communicate with loved ones. Those most likely to say they have are from: Sweden (89%), South Africa (84%), Russia (83%), Indonesia (82%), Spain (82%), Hungary (81%), Belgium (80%) and Italy (77%). Those in the middle of the pack are from: France (76%), Australia (75%), Great Britain (75%), Poland (74%), South Korea (73%), Turkey (73%), Argentina (69%) and the United States (69%). Those least likely to say they text, though still majorities in each country, are from: India (67%), Mexico (67%), Germany (66%), Brazil (62%), Japan (62%), China (61%), Saudi Arabia (61%) and Canada (59%).

Around half or more of those in all countries surveyed also indicate they use their mobile devices to take photos at gatherings with friends and family. Those from South Africa (84%), Indonesia (75%), Spain (75%), Turkey (74%), Russia (72%), Poland (72%), Australia (70%), and Great Britain (70%) are most likely to say so. They are followed by: The United States (69%), Brazil (69%), Hungary (67%), India (66%), Argentina (65%), Mexico (65%), Sweden (64%) and South Korea (64%). The bottom of the list is rounded out by those from: Canada (62%), China (61%), Germany (60%), Saudi Arabia (54%), France (52%), Japan (51%), Italy (49%) and Belgium (47%).

The range of those who have used an online video chat platform (such as Skype or Facetime) (42%) is more varied across the countries. At the top of the list, half or more from the following countries say they have interacted in this way: Turkey (58%), Russia (54%), India (53%), Great Britain (51%), Sweden (50%), South Africa (50%), China (49%) and Poland (47%). About four in ten from the following countries have used video chat to communicate with loved ones: Saudi Arabia (47%), Hungary (46%), Canada (46%), Argentina (45%), Spain (43%), Mexico (43%), Italy (42%), Indonesia (41%) and Australia (41%). Fewer than four in ten in the bottom third of countries have used online video for this sort of communication: Belgium (38%), Brazil (38%), the United States (36%), France (31%), Germany (31%), South Korea (23%) and Japan (15%).

These are findings of the research conducted by Ipsos for our Holiday Greeting 2013. The data is presented in conjunction with Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange (Ipsos OTX) and was collected by Ipsos Global @dvisor as part of Sociologue, an ongoing publication that features conversation-starting commentary on social media trends and behavior. The research was conducted on the “G@50”wave between October 1st and October 15th, 2013. The monthly Global @dvisor data output is derived from a balanced online sample in 24 countries around the world via the Ipsos Online Panel system. For the results of the survey presented herein, an international sample of 18,083 adults aged 18-64 in the US and Canada, and age 16-64 in all other countries, were interviewed. Approximately 1000+ individuals participated on a country by country basis via the Ipsos Online Panel with the exception of Argentina, Belgium, Hungary, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and Turkey, where each have a sample approximately 500+. The precision of Ipsos online polls are calculated using a credibility interval. In this case, a poll of 1,000 is accurate to +/- 3.5 percentage points and one of 500 is accurate to +/- 5.0 percentage points in their respective general populations. In countries where internet penetration is approximately 60% or higher the data output is weighted to reflect the general population. Of the 24 countries surveyed, 15 yield results that are representative: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States. The nine remaining countries surveyed –Brazil (45.6% Internet penetration among the citizenry), China (41%), India (11.4%), Indonesia (22.1%), Mexico (36.5%), Russia (47.7%), Saudi Arabia (49%), South Africa (17.4%) and Turkey (45.7%)—have lower levels of connectivity therefore cannot be weighted to be general population representative; however, the online sample in these countries are particularly valuable in their own right as they are more urban/educated/income than their fellow citizens and are often referred to as “Upper Deck Consumer Citizens”.

For more information on this news release please contact:

Jill Wiltfong
Senior Vice President, Marketing
Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange

Keren Gottfried
Senior Research Manager
Ipsos Global Public Affairs

About Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange

Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange (Ipsos OTX) is Ipsos' global innovation center. This multi-disciplinary team of researchers, strategists, digital natives, and design technologists is blending advancements in technology and a cultural shift toward social interactions to create the future of research, one that is immersive, collaborative, authentic and relevant. SocialogueTM is an ongoing publication from Ipsos OTX which features proprietary, global infographics and commentary on social media trends and behavior. For more information on the current suite of Ipsos OTX social media research tools, to find more about our Futures initiatives or to obtain social media details by country, contact us at

About Ipsos and Ipsos Global @dvisor

Ipsos is the world’s third largest market research company. With offices in 84 countries, Ipsos offers a complete line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel and online research products and services. Ipsos Global @dvisor is a 25-country, online, monthly syndicated research service used to generate information for media and clients. Every month, we complete 500 to 1,000 online interviews in each country. For more information visit or contact us at

Keeping in Touch Over the Holidays


Elen Alexov
Director, Marketing Services,
North America